[CQ-Contest] LotW Support by ARRL Officials & Officers ...

Rick Tavan N6XI rtavan at gmail.com
Wed Feb 1 20:20:39 EST 2006

This is not surprising. LoTW is over-engineered, user-hostile, unnecessarily
complex and, anecdotally at least, insufficiently reliable. It is much
easier to open an investment account and make online million dollar
transactions than to establish LoTW credentials, convert files, upload them
and maintain identity. I suffered through it once (successfully) and was
appalled. When one of my "certificates" came up for "renewal" recently, I
declined to donate the three hours of my life that would have been necessary
to relearn the magic incantations that I had mercifully forgotten over the
past year. It is simply not worth the trouble. Although I despise the
clerical burden of QSLing, I'd rather send postcards than suffer the
indignities of LoTW.

FWIW, I made my career in the software industry. When employees designed
systems with ten pounds of complexity for a one pound problem (not unusual),
I would send them back to the drawing boards. My friends at ARRL tell me
that my background set my expectations too high and that if I were
computer-illiterate I wouldn't find LoTW so objectionable. I have to
disagree with them. Usability is one of several cardinal virtues of a
software package and LoTW just doesn't have it. I hope I don't lose their
friendship for telling it as I see it because they really are great people.
They just went way overboard designing a system so perfect in its integrity
that it's not worth using. Once they amortize the intellectual energy
expended on LoTW, they will see the light and reduce its complexity by a
factor of 10. Then I'll be back.

/Rick N6XI

On 1/25/06, Joe Subich, W4TV <k4ik at subich.com> wrote:
> Here is an interesting analysis of Logbook of the World participation
> by key ARRL officers and Directors done by AB5K.
> It is a sad commentary to see several well-known and active amateurs
> who can't even support Logbook of the World enough to upload their
> own logs.  Perhaps this indicates why LotW has still not received the
> resources necessary to properly promote it outside the US and integrate
> awards beyond DXCC (and now WAS in part) on a timely basis.
> 73,
>     ... Joe, W4TV

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